Bluegrass development

Virginia-based Peterson Cos. is looking to develop roughly 14 acres at Monocacy Boulevard and East South Street.

The developer responsible for regional retail projects including National Harbor, the RIO Washingtonian Center in Montgomery County and Dulles Discovery in Virginia is eyeing property on Frederick’s east side to add to its portfolio.

Frederick Corner — or Bluegrass, as Virginia-based developer Peterson Cos. refers to it on its website — is tentatively slated to go on roughly 14 acres at Monocacy Boulevard and East South Street.

According to the plans, the development will include 90,000 square feet of retail space, fast-casual restaurants and a gas station. Peterson’s website projects a 2018 groundbreaking and 2019 grand opening.

But before all that can happen, a rezoning is needed on the property, which is positioned on the edge of the Frederick Brick Works property.

The land is zoned heavy industrial, which was appropriate given its proximity to the Brick Works site and other industrial development at the time of the original zoning. But with the changing economic outlook of the property, potential developers and consultants hope to get about 16.5 acres rezoned general commercial to pave the way for the Frederick Corner project.

“If you’re at all familiar with this site, it’s an industrial wasteland if there ever was one. It’s heavy, heavy industrial,” Dave Severn, a land-use attorney representing the developer, said at a Neighborhood Advisory Council 11 meeting Tuesday.

“Now that the city has invested a lot of money in improvements to Monocacy Boulevard, we are really excited that Peterson Companies has bought the property,” he said. “They have done some great things throughout the region. It’s a really strong company, and I think they’d do a great job at this location.”

Severn, along with David Lingg, the president of Lingg Property Consulting, and Jon Peterson, principal of Peterson Cos., attended Tuesday’s meeting to promote the project. They framed the development as a gateway into a new and improved east Frederick.

The rezoning request was also discussed Monday during a city Planning Commission workshop. The request will move next to a Planning Commission hearing in July before planning commissioners vote on it at a second hearing, likely in August. If it passes the Planning Commission hurdle, it will move to the Board of Aldermen for final approval.

If all that comes together, the project would move to the development phase with the Planning Commission.

The project representatives said Tuesday the timeline is tentative, with actual construction likely years away.

“It’s a yearslong process,” Lingg said.

Attendees at Tuesday’s NAC 11 meeting, who live mostly in the area around the property, did not comment much on the proposed project. Several residents asked about the environmental impact of developing on a former industrial site and why so many steps are needed to rezone the property, but no one seemed to object.

Peterson said officials with the Maryland Department of the Environment have been investigating the site for potential environmental issues but have not found any.

Severn said the developers are also planning a meeting with East Frederick Rising to include the group’s input in the project. East Frederick Rising is a recently revised nonprofit group focused on developing the east side of the city.

Peterson Cos. is known for several significant projects in the region.

The company developed National Harbor, a multi-use development along the Potomac River waterfront in Prince George’s County near Washington; the RIO Washingtonian, a waterfront shopping center in Gaithersburg; and the Dulles Discovery office park complex in Herndon, Virginia, among others.

Follow Mallory Panuska on Twitter: @MalloryPanuska.

(22) comments

Ellenatodd

Not sure the term 'industrial wasteland' is appropriate. These areas serve an important purpose, and frankly, the city has enough 'retail, fast food and gas stations'. Time for someone to say 'enough is enough!'

pretzel

Can we please get someone to run this city?

pfitzgerald

I see a commuter rail station with lots of parking in the my crystal ball with a gas station to fuel those captive cars.

bicep42

WHAT ABOUT THE ROADS??????
The traffic is already abominable

mrnatural1

Exactly.

In Iowa (and, I assume, other states) they do something radical -- they build the new roads and/or expand existing roads FIRST -- before any new construction can begin.

The developers pay -- not the taxpayers.

Learch

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Rockfish

This site will not be any National Harbour or RIO in my opinion. The acreage isn't there for that scale. Probably end up as a couple nice strip shopping centers. And why should I get excited about a gas station?

JohnSchaeffer1

It would be nice to get some attention to the not-so "Golden Mile" and FrederickTowne Mall properties and start to bring them back. The city has ignored that area.

kstr92

The Golden Mile lost its luster long ago. The city, however, isn't ignoring the area, as they recently upgraded all of the intersections with new crosswalks and signage, and replaced the wire-dangling traffic lights with shiny, new steel masts. As for the commercial properties, that's for the private sector to figure out. It's not the local government's job to open stores.

gardenwhimsey

Frederick City did not do the work nor did the pay for it. That area is under State of Maryland for service and upgrades, including the fence that runs down the median. The upgrades were done by the State, not the City.

mrnatural1

[thumbup]

mrnatural1

Thumb up [thumbup] above was intended for John's post.

Moderator: It would be really nice if the FNP comment section used a forum format, like v.Bulletin.

Just a suggestion.

rbtdt5

BRING BACK THE FORUMS

jwhamann

That just doesn't look like S. East St. to me. Where's the traffic circle?

shiftless88

It's E. South. What a bunch of unimaginative people who named the streets in Frederick!

jazbabee

In an area with a history of sinkhole issues !

snallygaster

That's just what I was thinking, the quarry is on the other side of 70. This development will probably (literally) go under and take a good chunk of 70 with it.

KellyAlzan

More $10 an hour jobs. Great.

KantSpel

I'm confused - is this development at Monocacy and S. East Street, as described in the article, or at Monocacy and E. South St, as pictured?

cctjr64

Both the whole way

gardenwhimsey

No, the picture does not show East Street. The road by lower blue line that says Monocacy Blvd. is just that, Monocacy Blvd. The white area that looks like cement is the intersection of East South St & Monocacy Blvd. You can see the ramp by which traffic can enter Rt 70 from Monocacy Blvd. If you could see further east in that picture you would the intersection of Monocacy & East Patrick Streets. Roy Rogers would be on the left. To the right you would see Sheetz, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.

jwhamann

People always make that mistake...but the FNP shouldn't have. The intersection of those streets is confusing to a lot of people. Where's Board of Ed building: at the corner of S. East and E. South...

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